Back in the 2000s, the word ‘viral’ meant only the bodily viral.
And even if there was a piece of information that actually went viral between people, it was primarily through e-mail! (Or, it needed mainstream media to take note of something ‘trending’ and make it ‘viral’, like the milk-drinking Ganesha!)
I can’t remember the number of things I got from multiple friends as e-mail forwards, and if I got something more than once from 2 (or more) different friends, then I understood that to be a ‘viral’ 🙂
These days, a ‘viral’ would something that starts on TikTok, and gets shared on Whatsapp 🙂
One of the first ‘virals’ I experienced personally was something I kickstarted myself (!!) – I had written about it in 2010: What do Frooti and Apple have to do with the colour of a bra?
There was another viral that I was so enamored with back then that I stored a copy of it – this was in 2007! It was an MS Excel file (which was always very risky to open in the mid-2000s, particularly on Windows, given the possibility of infecting your system with some virus!) featuring a MENSA (supposedly, I have no idea if it was really a MENSA puzzle) puzzle.
It was a fantastic precursor to how puzzles go viral on social media (the most recent being the 40+ classic Indian ads hidden in a piece of art that emanated out of Zee Melt), but this one was entirely on e-mail!
Try your luck 🙂 I have a feeling this must have been created by someone from South Africa (that’s your clue for 16 and 30, incidentally)!
If you are not a ‘genius’, you can always see the answers here.